Saddle Ridge Fire began under SoCal Edison transmission tower in Sylmar, investigators say

SYLMAR, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The cause of the nearly 8,000-acre Saddle Ridge Fire is still undetermined, but Los Angeles Fire Department investigators have identified the starting point of the fire.

"We did determine a point of origin, a 50-foot by 70-foot area which is directly beneath a power transmission line and we're looking at all the causes," Captain Erik Scott told Eyewitness News.

Scott says that tower is operated by SoCal Edison and stands behind homes in the 14000 block of Saddle Ridge Road in Sylmar.

Investigators say they also found no evidence of any homeless encampments in that area.

MORE: Saddleridge Fire may have started near electrical tower in Sylmar

SoCal Edison had de-energized certain power lines on Thursday and Friday as a defensive move to prevent a fire, but the utility says the transmission line running through Sylmar was not powered down.

The company would not comment on a possible cause, but did release a statement saying in part, "Out of an abundance of caution, we notified the California Public Utilities Commission on Friday, October 11 that our system was impacted near the reported time of the fire."

Meantime, some people who live in shadow of the transmission tower say there's little question in their mind that SoCal Edison's electrical equipment in Sylmar played a role in the start of the fire.

"This always happens at that tower at the bottom of that pole," said Maria Grasso who's lived on Saddle Ridge Road for 25 years and saw two previous fires in the same area. "We saw it, my husband and everybody has seen it."
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